My Bridesmaids expect me to pay for them

posted 1 month ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 16
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

 I’m in Australia and I bought my bridesmaids dresses. I really think if you want them to wear something specific, you need to pay for it. At the very least you need to ask their budget before imposing a $380 outfit on them.

Post # 17
3746 posts
Sugar bee

First, for all US bees, $380 aus = $267.10 US That’s not terrible. But I dont see why your friends need to pay for you at the bachelorette.

I’m really tired of hearing about bachelorette parties. Seriously, when did they become a requirement?

Post # 18
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

sunburn :  bridal showers aren’t really done in Australia – or at least I’ve neither heard of them happening all that often nor been invited to one – we mostly just do a hens night and maybe an engagement party when first engaged. So although they’re not a “requirement” per se, they do tend to be the norm here in Aus. 

Post # 19
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m UK so am of the opinion that if you require your bridesmaids to wear a specific dress, you should pay. However, I have mixed views re the bachelorette depending on whether you requested something fancy and expensive or it’s all their secret plan. If it’s all their secret plan then I think it’s fair for them to cover the cost for you as you had no input on expense. If it was your request, then I think you should help pay.

Basically, I don’t think anyone should oblige someone else to pay for things they’ve chosen for them. Which goes for the bride (eg re dresses) and also the bridesmaids (eg if they’ve made independent plans for the bachelorette).

Post # 20
3746 posts
Sugar bee

sbl99 :  Good to know, I’m obviously from the US, so I have no clue. We have bridal showers but the whole bach party thing is a relatively new addition. 


Post # 21
377 posts
Helper bee

I do think that a Bach party is an unecessary expense so if money is tight don’t have one. But I don’t think the bride should be EXPECTED to pay for her bridesmaids dresses and shoes. People are soooooo quick to say “it’s your wedding you should pay” but no one is forcing the bridesmaids to be in the bridal party. I’ve been in a wedding and it got very expensive but I never once expected the bride to pay for anything for me except my flowers because she was paying for the whole wedding. I didn’t have to be in the bridal party but I chose to and so I paid for my stuff. I was asked to be in another wedding and I politely declined because I didn’t want to put myself in a position of spending too much money. But I’d never EXPECT the bride to pay for my dress. Just how everyone likes to say an invitation to a wedding isn’t a summons, neither is an invitation to be a bridesmaid. 

Post # 22
4387 posts
Honey bee

fcm16 :  if you’re using using that logic, no one forces a bride or groom to have a wedding that costs more than what is legally required to be wed or to ask people to be in their bridal party either.  Sorry I just don’t buy this whole put upon “but they are already paying for a WHOLE wedding” thing.  No one forces them to.  It’s a choice.  It’s also a choice to force a specific vision of a dress on other people to match your party vision.  A bridesmaid is just as much a bridesmaid if the bride says “pick any outfit you like from your closet and stand up next to me”.  At a certain point someone has to take responsibility.  If you’re the one limiting options, you should be the one willing to pay for it.  If you’re not willing to pay for it, then your right to make specific demands decreases dramatically.  Nowhere else in the adult world is it acceptable for one adult to decide the clothing for another adult or decide how they should spend their money for them.

Post # 23
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

The only thing I am asking of my bridesmaids is to pay $99.00 for a dress. Then they can do whatever hair/makeup/shoes/nails that they want. I do not care. 

If I did have a bachelorette party (I am not because I think going out boozing under the excuse its celebrating a wedding is immature and stupid and not fun to me) But If i did have a spa day or something, you bet your ass I would pay my own way. But that is because my parents raised me to always pay my own way no matter what. So i am uncomfortable with letting anyone pay for me, including my fiance. I split bills with him 50/50. 

The only thing I would let my friends pay for me for is taking me to dinner for my birthday or to drinks. And that would be ONLY if they asked me to dinner. I would never invte myself to an event that I expected them to pay for. 

Post # 24
189 posts
Blushing bee

Personally I like the UK way of bride paying for the bm outfits. $380 IS a lot of money to some people! The AUD and CAD are almost identical, and I can safely say I have never paid that much for a bm outfit! Anyways, OP if $200 is going to break YOUR budget, then cancel the bachelorette. It’s very petty of you to complain about $200 but say that $380 is nothing. 

Post # 25
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I just went to a wedding where the bridesmaids dresses were 300 us and all the bridesmaids complained it was too pricey and they were only going to wear once. 

If you can’t help don’t pick something you also can’t afford 

Post # 26
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’m int the US but agreed with my bridesmaids that if I had strict expectations of dress/shoes (i.e. choosing styles/dresses for them) then I would pay, but if they were given free choice that I would not (as they could buy something they actually liked and would wear again). I did pay hair and make-up for all. 

Ultimately the budget started to squeeze so I gave them free range. If I’m going to make demands, I pay for that right. 

As for bachelorette – we did a weekend away at a family summer house. I contributed to food and alcohol same as them. Why should I get a free weekend on their dime? Again, I’m asking them to take the time to come and celebrate MY life event, so why should I get a free-ride?

My baby shower was thrown by my aunts and they hosted and paid. 

Post # 27
470 posts
Helper bee


You don’t get to force other people to spend money for something YOU want for your OWN purposes that you don’t want to spend yourself. And it really isn’t a good way to treat people you supposedly love and care about the most. 

Nobody owes you a party. Nobody owes you their money. I think the idea that you would pick out dresses for other people to wear and expect them to spend THEIR money on it is crazy. The UK system is a much better one (I’m not in the UK, so I’m not partisan, I just think they have a better norm.) If you want to tell people what to wear, you have to pay for the costume. 

People can generously DECIDE of their own volition to spend money on you. And you can be grateful. But you have no right to expect to it. And you no more get to tell people they ought to hold a bachelorette party for you then you get to tell them they ought to hold a birthday party for you, or an anniversary party for you. Just because YOU are having a wedding doesn’t saddle OTHER people with expenses for celebrating for you. The narcissitic entitlement of this idea is crazy. 

I’ve been a bridesmaid several times. I had bridesmaids at my wedding. Total cost each time? Cost of attending the wedding. The friends who wanted me to wear something specific bought it for me, me– I told people to wear whatever they owned that made them feel lovely (and would match the crushing heat of our the season of our event). I didn’t want to burden them financially nor did they want to burden me because we cared about each other and thus about each other’s wellbeing—not about some random instagram pics (Not saying thats why you want these specific dressses- I don’t know you–but that is the kind of view that underlies this norm often “oh the pics!” not “oh the financial health of my friends and loved ones!”

Post # 28
5189 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

This is exactly why you rarely see brides pick £300 bridesmaid dresses or having an entourage of like 11 bridesmaids.  I really think if US brides paid for the dresses they wouldn’t have such a problem finding a dress they liked that was more affordable. It is easy to think something isn’t that expensive when you aren’t the one paying. 

beeyouteefal :  

Post # 29
6428 posts
Bee Keeper

Did you ask prior if they were able to afford everything?  Can you scale some things back?

Post # 30
11770 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

The bride has some discretion over the dress, in consultation for style and budget. The justification for that, in countries where that’s the current tradition, is the assumption that the dress be be kept and worn again. Of course that’s rarely the case. So if you didn’t give much of a legitimate choice, or the dress is realistically not one that will ever see the light of day again, my feeling is you should pay. 

The bride cannot properly dictate shoes, which are extremely personal as to fit. The most she can suggest is an already commonly owned item, for example any black or neutral pump or sandal. 

I’d turn down the bachelorette. It is obvious your friends are feeling financial pressure. 

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